Besides Braces, What Else Do Orthodontists Do?

Besides Braces, What Else Do Orthodontists Do?

Nov 02, 2022

You know that orthodontists help patients straighten their teeth for beautiful smiles. However, orthodontists do more than treat dental misalignment issues. For example, they help children with tooth development and jaw problems. Continue reading to learn how an orthodontist near you ensures kids have healthy, beautiful smiles.

Orthodontic Treatments for Kids

Kids have various tooth and jaw problems due to genetics, tooth decay, and dental trauma. In addition, other issues are premature loss of baby teeth and bad oral habits like thumb sucking. These problems prevent them from chewing food properly. They also affect their smiles, oral health, and hygiene.

The pediatric dentist in Greenwood, SC, helps children through various orthodontic treatments. Using multiple diagnostic tools, they carefully examine your kid’s teeth, mouth, and jaws. Then, if any problems are found, the dentist uses special dental appliances to treat them. Some of them are:

  1. Removable retainers

They are removable appliances worn after the child completes treatment using braces. Once their teeth are straightened, it takes four to six months until the new position becomes permanent. Retainers keep teeth in place after straightening and prevent a relapse. The dentist may recommend wire or clear plastic retainers.

  1. Space maintainers

Some kids lose their baby teeth early, or their permanent teeth take longer to erupt. As a result, they will have a gap in their teeth. Space maintainers help keep the space open. They prevent adjacent teeth from moving until permanent teeth come in place.

  1. Aligners

These removable orthodontic devices help children straighten their teeth. Aligners treat crowding, spacing, and narrow dental arches. Some aligners, such as Invisalign®, are customized for kids from six years and teens. They improve kids’ smiles as they grow.

  1. Jaw repositioning appliances

It is a device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea or snoring. The appliance pushes the jaw forward, making the airway larger. As a result, it improves airflow and reduces throat constriction. Therefore, the child will sleep without interruptions from a constricted airway. The kids’ dentist in Greenwood customizes the appliance for a comfortable fit.

  1. Braces

These are devices fixed on teeth to straighten them. They apply steady pressure on teeth that are crowded, overlapping, wide-gapped, or have bad bites. Braces are not removable. The dentist will frequently adjust the wires on them to move teeth into position. Your child may get metal, ceramic, lingual, or self-litigating braces.

  1. Lip and cheek bumpers

It is a device consisting of a wire partially coated in plastic and two metal molar bands on both sides. When worn, it lines the front side of the lower teeth and widens the arch of the lower jaw. These appliances are used when the child has crowded maxillary or mandibular teeth.

  1. Palatal expander

It is an oral device that fits on the roof of the mouth and is used by an orthodontist to widen a narrow upper jaw. A palatal expander slowly moves both halves of the jawbone apart. It creates more space for teeth. In addition, they improve the way the teeth in the upper and lower jaws fit together.

The kids’ dentist near you may recommend them if the child has a misaligned bite or crowded teeth. The devices also help treat crooked, overlapping, and impacted teeth. Types of palatal expanders include removable, surgically assisted, rapid, and implant-supported.

  1. Headgear

A dental headgear is an appliance attached to the kid’s head with a neck strap. It corrects irregular jaw positioning and treats the associated problems. Headgears treat overbites, upper front tooth protrusion, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. An orthodontist usually uses headgears in combination with braces.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is an important part of a child’s oral care. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist in Greenwood, SC helps to:

  • Create a healthy, functional bite
  • Promote oral health since straight teeth are less prone to gum disease or tooth decay
  • bring teeth, lips, and face into proportion creating an attractive smile
  • improve self-confidence and self-esteem
  • improve speech impacted by jaw and tooth developmental issues

A beautiful, healthy smile positively impacts your child’s life. So get your child’s teeth and jaws evaluated at Kids First Dental. Dr. John Patangan and his team will determine the help your child requires to guide their growing teeth and jaws.

864-223-1474 Book an Appointment